Chronic pain and mood disorders in asian americans

Deborah L. Huang, Mijung Park, Indraneil Bardhan, Joosun Shin, Jordan F. Karp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Pain and mood disorder frequently coexist. Yet, for Asian Americans (AAs), scant information about pain and mood disorder is available. Our aims were to compare (1) the rates of pain and mood disorders and (2) the magnitude of associations between pain and mood disorders between AAs and European Americans (EAs), and across different Asian subgroups. Methods: An analytical data was constructed from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Studies (CPES), a representative sample of community-residing U.S. adults (n = 9,871). Pain morbidity was assessed by self-report. Mood disorders, including major depression and anxiety disorders, were assessed using the diagnostic interview. Analysis included descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression modeling. All analyses were weighted to approximate the U.S. populations, and controlled for sociodemographic and immigration characteristics. Results: Greater proportion of EAs, compared to AAs, endorsed lifetime pain (56.8% vs. 35.8%). Having life pain disorders elevated the likelihood of lifetime mood disorder by more than 2-folds (weight adjusted odds ratio (WAOR): 2.12, 95% CI: 1.77, 2.55). Having pain disorders over the past 12 months elevated the likelihood of mood disorder in the same time period by more than 3-folds (WAOR: 3.29, 95% CI: 2.02, 5.37) among AAs. The magnitude of the association between pain and psychiatric morbidity were greater in Vietnamese Americans compared to other AAs and EAs. Discussion: The conventional belief that rates of pain and mood disorders are greater in AAs than EAs may need to be further examined. Vietnamese Americans may be particularly vulnerable for experience of comorbid pain and mood disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
Pages (from-to)217-226
Number of pages10
JournalAsian Pacific Island Nursing Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Asian Americans
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression
  • Mood disorder
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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